Subject: Re: So, where's the "Javadoc" for COMMON Lisp?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 14:19:14 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (larry a price)
> Schemas and DTD's are some of the more wartish aspects, but unless i'm
> mistaken meta-programming is difficult to do cleanly even in lisp.

  What kind of meta-programming are they doing with XML?

  A DTD is a structured document which contains information about elements.
  If SGML/XML were any good, this would have been written with exactly the
  same syntax that is used to describe other data.  However, because they
  were ignorant of the "code is data" concept, they, too, made the mistake
  that "what we think must be good enough for everbody else sure ain't good
  enough for us", and invented their very own syntax for their own needs.

> I guess what i'm starting to see is that XML is always a tree and that
> whatever is between the tags is either a sub-tree or terminal.

  This is actually _desperately_ wrong.  One of the first things you should
  realize when you start to delve into SGML (or its ancestors) is that very
  few things in real life are _only_ trees.  The power of a description of
  something tree-like is how well it can deal with non-tree-like aspects of
  the same object structure.  This is where SGML made its most egregious
  mistakes.  Look at how inhumanly, mind-bogglingly complex HyTime got
  before they managed to take care of this problem reasonably well, and I
  am not talking about the very complex concepts it tries to represent --
  those are the easy part, once you realize that the syntax is the worst
  possible barrier to grasp them.

> ps. Confidential to mr. N*gg*m

  Really?  Which four-letter word followed by which three-letter word do
  you think I am really trying to communicate to such a friendly person as
  yourself right now?  Take a wild guess.

  There is nothing in this message that under normal circumstances should
  cause Barry Margolin to announce his moral superiority over others, but
  one never knows how he needs to behave to maintain his belief in it.